CERC Defers Real-Time Power Market Implementation to June 2020 Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

It was scheduled to start from April 12020


Amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in India, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has decided to defer implementing the real-time power market (RPM) until June 1, 2020.

In January 2020, the chairperson, of CERC, PK Pujari, had said, “India has already come out with its regulations on real-time markets which are expected to be valid from April 01, 2020. Draft regulations on ancillary services will follow soon. Any such study which applies to Indian conditions is useful for us to design the market and inform all the stakeholders. This United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s)  Greening the Grid report is extremely useful and will help us in developing other products in the market.”

The real-time market is a platform widely used across the world to integrate renewable energy, and establishing one in India is expected to not only facilitate the smooth integration of variable renewable but also bring greater market efficiency and enable better resource utilization in the country.

India’s central regulator CERC amended three regulations – the Indian Electricity Grid Code Regulations, Power Market Regulations, and Open Access In Inter-State Transmission Regulations to introduce the framework of real-time markets.

With these amendments, the real-time market will come into effect from June 1, 2020. USAID’s RISE Initiative, under the “Greening the Grid” bilateral program with the Ministry of Power, assisted CERC in this initiative. GTG-RISE is a key initiative under USAID’s Asia EDGE (Enhancing Growth and Development through Energy) and is implemented by Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Quoting the CERC official, news agency PTI said that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, necessary trials could not be completed.

India’s power sector is currently in a transitional phase, shifting from long-term generation contracts to a greater reliance on short-term contracts and electricity spot markets.

In July 2018, the CERC published a discussion paper on ‘Redesigning the Real-Time Electricity Markets in India.’ In August 2019, the CERC issued a draft framework for the real-time market for electricity and invited comments and suggestions from stakeholders.

After analyzing the stakeholders’ comments, the Commission then concluded that the real-time power market should be conducted every half an hour for the delivery of power for 30 minutes in two-time blocks of 15 minutes each.

According to the Commission, the energy trade for the first half an hour (00:00 hours to 00:30 hours) of the day would start at 22:45 hours of the previous day and would be repeated every half an hour after that.

At present, consumers, including DISCOMs, can buy power a day before in the Day-Ahead Market (DAM) on the power exchanges. In DAM, power trading takes place for two hours every day from 10 am to 12 noon.

The Coronavirus pandemic is proving to be the solar industry’s biggest challenge this year, and the repercussions are being felt across industries all over the globe. Track the latest developments and initiatives taken by the government to fight the economic repercussions of the pandemic in the renewable industry here.

Track the latest developments and initiatives taken by the government to fight the economic repercussions of the pandemic in the renewable industry here.